It’s official! Our friends in the UK have discovered the beauty of pulled pork and BBQ sauce.
This summer Brooklyn Brewery was at Grillstock, currently the UK’s only homegrown BBQ festival. Grillstock took place in Manchester’s Albert Square which was quite a unique setting for a BBQ festival. Nothing like tearing apart some ribs while standing on a cobble stone square surrounded by 19th century neo-Gothic buildings and historical monuments. There were some unexpected surprises including a late DJ set by Huey Morgan from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals which jumpstarted a breakdance circle starring a really enthusiastic BBQ fan in a hot dog costume.
When there were no bands playing there was plenty to entertain. They held several eating competitions including a chili pepper eating contest, which became difficult to watch when the scotch bonnets came out. BBQ competitors came from all over the globe to compete in the “King of the Q” BBQ competition. There are four rounds of chicken, ribs, brisket and pulled pork that all teams must cook. The BBQ competitors were so dedicated they camped on site the entire weekend so that they could cook their meat round the clock.
Now I will wave my Brooklyn Brewery flag and mention my favorite part of Grillstock which was the beer. The bars were busy selling pints of Brooklyn Lager, Sorachi Ace, Brown Ale, Summer Ale, and EIPA. This was our first time ever selling Brooklyn Brown Ale and Summer Ale on draught in the UK. The custom Brooklyn Brewery bars made me feel at home with a wall made out of beer cases, picnic benches, a photo booth, good music, and the second best bar staff on the globe.
Over two weekends Grillstock attracted about 10,000 attendees and over 30,000 pints of Brooklyn Brewery beer was sold. To say it was a success would be an understatement. I am already looking forward to future Grillstocks and can’t wait to see what happens with the flourishing BBQ culture in the UK.